Whether your children play or you yourself have gotten swept up in the movement, no doubt you’ve heard of Pokémon GO, even if you don’t know what it is. For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown. In Pokémon games, players (called “trainers”) go around and catch creatures to train them and, eventually, use them in battle. Traditionally, these games have been available only on Nintendo consoles. But now, game developer Niantic has brought Pokemon into the real world.
With GO, you simply download the free app and begin encountering Pokémon in the real world. Utilizing your GPS, GO places different Pokémon in your general area. When you try to catch them, the app uses augmented reality to make it seem as if the creature is actually right in front of you — which has led to some hilarious encounters.
While Pokémon GO may seem like just a childhood fantasy come true, the truth of the matter is that the game is already having a massive impact on the world. Just days after its release, it is already at the top of the App Store and Google Play. And if you take advantage of the hype, it could also mean big wins for your business. So use the tips in this blog to catch ’em all — customers, that is.
Just How Popular Is It?
Consider this statistic: Two days after Pokémon GO was released, it was already installed on over 5 percent of all Android phones. Okay, that sounds pretty measly. But when you compare it to the most popular dating app, Tinder, it’s a massive achievement. Tinder is only installed on 2 percent of all Androids. But other metrics show GO taking on the likes of Twitter in terms of popularity.
App developers and marketers use a term known as daily active users (it’s a pretty self-explanatory term). About 3.5 percent of all Android users open Twitter daily. In contrast, Pokémon GO has about 3 percent of daily active users. And with its popularity, that statistic is only going to increase, likely surpassing Twitter very soon. GO also takes the cake when it comes to the amount of time users are on the app. On average, users keep GO open for about 45 minutes at a time. The next-closest app is WhatsApp, at about 30 minutes.
That’s not really a fair comparison, when you look at what each app is used for. However, these figures do boldly show Pokémon GO’s popularity. Here’s the real kicker: It’s only available in the US, New Zealand and Australia currently, and it’s still putting up those numbers. And with all the server issues Niantic is facing, they weren’t even prepared for the popularity (though illegal downloads definitely didn’t help). With children out hunting for Pokémon, as well as 90s kids out living their dreams, it will be a while before the hype really dies down. Now is the time to take advantage of it.
Jumping on the Hype Train
One of the most important aspects of Pokémon GO is the PokéStop. These are hotspots that players can visit and get important (virtual) tools and gear for their journey. Many are famous landmarks, which are great for teaching children about history while they are out playing. However, some of the Pokè Stops are located at businesses. If you are lucky enough to have a PokéStop at your storefront, it’s the perfect digital marketing opportunity.
Local players will already be coming your way to load up on gear. Why not encourage them to also come in and enjoy what your physical shop has to offer? Include Pokémon GO in outside signage, even on a chalkboard, to show you are part of the game as well. You could even offer small discounts to customers who are players, or if they have a certain Pokémon or are on a certain team. This can be especially beneficial if your location is a “Gym,” which are hotspots held by one of the three in-game teams until they are defeated.
Another factor of PokéStops is the ability to use “modules.” The most common is a lure module, which attracts Pokémon to that hotspot for a certain period of time. These cost a dollar of real-world money, which is a small price to pay for the attention your store will get. Advertising the fact that your shop is a PokéStop on your social media is a fast way to get even more players — a.k.a. potential customers — in your doors.
Unfortunately, there is no way currently to turn your location into a PokéStop if it isn’t already. However, if Niantic plays its cards right, it could rake in cash by allowing businesses to sponsor Stops and Gyms. Be on the lookout for that marketing opportunity on the horizon.
While EverSpark can’t help you become a Pokémon Master, we can help you become a master of digital marketing. Visit our website to learn more about the services we have to offer, or contact us today to see how we can help you become the very best.